Vegetarianism is a great ethic. An answer to the many and varied problems we face today.
As the crown of creation, man must protect and feed his subjects, not exploit and eat them.
Cruelty to animals is the dark side of our civilization. Hundreds of great people have condemned meat-eating. Thousands of ethical and scientific books, journals and reports shout that meat is unhealthy, inhuman. Millions of vegetarians testify that a meat-free diet is possible.
I magine yourself sitting down to an 8 ounce of steak. Then, imagine the room filled with 40 or 50 people with empty bowls. For the feed cost of your steak, each of their bowls could be filled with a full cup of cooked cereal grains. Four-fifths of our cultivation land is used to feed animals and one-fifth for feeding man directly. A cow must be fed 21 pounds of protein to produce 1 pound of protein for humans.
Every year in Britain, to satisfy the national hunger for meat, we slaughter
450 million chickens
25 million turkeys
14 million sheep
13 million pigs
8 million ducks
3 million rabbits
1 million quail
What a horrendous crime against the animal kingdom.
George Bernard Shaw writes in one of his poems:
"We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
to guide our footsteps on the path we tread.
We're sick of war, we don't want to fight.
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread.
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead,
Like carrion crows we live and feed on meat
Regardless of the suffering and pain we cause by doing so.
How can we hope in this world to attain the PEACE we say we are so anxious for?"
Albert Schweitzer puts it in a nutshell: "Until we extend our circle of compassion to include every living creature, we cannot enjoy 'World Peace'."
Albert Einstein once said, "It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."
The question is: Are human beings designed and intended to eat meat? What all the available evidence points to is that there is no nutritional, physiological or psychological justification for meat-eating by humans.
Nutritional Factors Against Flesh Food
The number one pre-requisite of a food is most certainly its fuel value, fuel as it relates to energy for the body's use. Flesh foods supply no fuel, no energy. Fuel is built from carbohydrates. Meat has virtually no carbohydrates. In other words, NO FUEL VALUE.
Another consideration is fibre. Every area of health care is stressing the importance of fibre in the diet. Among other things, fibre helps to avoid constipation. Meat has virtually no fibre content.
A major factor against flesh food is the availability of amino acids. It is interesting to note that utilizable amino acid content found in plant life is far in excess to that found in flesh foods. Amino acids are delicate. The heat of cooking destroys many of the amino acids so that they are not available for body use. These unusable amino acids become toxic, adding to one's weight, increasing the chores of the body, and depleting energy. Meat would have to be eaten raw, the way carnivorous and omnivorous animals eat it, for any potential usage of amino acids. Meat is also very high in saturated fat. Not the kind to be used for energy - the kind that causes heart attacks! So nutritionally, in spite of all the propaganda, meat has very little, if anything going for it.
Physiological Aspects Against Meat-eating
A carnivore's teeth are long, sharp and pointed! We have molars for crushing and grinding. A carnivore's jaw moves up and down only, for tearing and biting. Ours also move from side to side for grinding. A carnivore's saliva is acidic and geared to the digestion of animal protein; it lacks ptyalin, a chemical that digests starches. Our saliva is alkaline and contains ptyalin for the digestion of starch. A carnivore's stomach is a simple round sack that secretes ten times more hydrochloric acid than that of a non-carnivore. Our stomachs are oblong in shape and complicated in structure. A carnivore's intestines are three times the length of its trunk, designed for rapid expulsion of food stuff, which quickly rots. Our intestines are twelve times the length of our trunks and designed to keep food in them until all nutrients are extracted. The liver of a carnivore is capable of eliminating ten to fifteen times more uric acid than the liver of a non-carnivore. Our livers have the capacity to eliminate only a small amount of uric acid. Uric acid is an extremely dangerous toxic substance that can wreak havoc in your body. All meat consumption releases large quantities of uric acid into the system. Unlike carnivores and most omnivores, humans do not have the enzyme uricase to break down uric acid. A carnivore's tongue is rough. Ours is smooth. Our hands are perfectly designed for plucking fruit from a tree, not for tearing the guts out of a carcass as are a carnivore's claws.
There is not one anatomical faculty the human being has that would indicate that he is equipped for tearing, ripping and rending flesh for consumption.
Psychological Arguments against Meat-eating
We, as humans, are not even psychologically equipped to eat meat. Have you ever strolled through a lush wooded area, filling your lungs with good air while listening to the birds sing? Perhaps it was after a rain, and everything was fresh and clean. Just then perhaps a chipmunk scurried across your path. What was your very first instinctive inclination upon the sight of the chipmunk, before you even had time to think?
To pounce on it, grab it with your teeth, rip it apart, and swallow it, blood, guts, skin, bone, flesh, and all? Or would you instantly, upon sight of the furry little creature, say "Shhh, did you see that cute little chipmunk?"
We wonder how many more vegetarians there would be if when people wanted a piece of steak, they had to go out, beat a defenseless steer to death, cut it open, and wade through the blood and guts to slice out the particular parts they desired.
So why do people eat flesh? Two simple reasons: number one, habit and conditioning, number two: some people happen to like meat. But there is no argument in favour of meat-eating on health grounds. The only effect meat-eating has on health is that it deteriorates it. It demands a tremendous amount of energy to digest it, and makes the task of losing weight more of a chore than it should be.
Harvey and Marilym Diamond conclude in their best-selling book, "Fit For Life", "... to maintain your life and add life to your life, it is best to predominate your diet with those foods that are FULL OF LIFE!" Incidentally, the word vegetable comes from the word "Vegetus" which means FULL OF LIFE!